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6497-1: Twisted Time Train
Published 6 months ago
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The build is 98% complete; the most prominent missing part is a #2046 Curved 6x6x9⅓ Stairs, which I had to replace with a similar-sized slope. The rest were either decorative or easy to substitute.

==MISSING DECALS==
https://rebrickable.com/parts/3626bpx54/minifig-head-knight-bushy-goatee-and-eyebrows-print
https://rebrickable.com/parts/2588/minifig-ghost-shroud/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/3960p02/dish-4-x-4-inverted-radar-black-spiral-print-6496-6497/

==MISSING PARTS==
https://rebrickable.com/parts/4266/wheel-20-x-30-technic/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/59/weapon-sword-greatsword-round/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/71342/musical-instrument-bugle/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/2983/electric-9v-micromotor-pulley-with-axle-hole/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/2046/stairs-6-x-6-x-9-13-curved-enclosed/
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In 1996, Lego launched a very curious theme, "Time Cruisers." This unique collection portrayed time travel with eclectic and quirky "meta" builds, utilizing bricks and elements across different Lego themes, from medieval "Castles" and "Pirates" to hi-tech "Space" and other futuristic series.

According to Brickipedia, the story began in 1994 when some European Lego magazine created a graphic novel about time travel featuring Dr. Cyber and his apprentice Max "Time Cruiser." Comics must've been quite a success, as they continued for two more years, picked by other publications in Europe.

Finally, Lego decided to launch the official subtheme based on the story. "Time Cruisers" line-up, presented in 1996, had four models ranging from 500 to 58 parts.

Lego also released some really odd regional "Time Cruisers" merch—products I didn't even know existed! First off, three Lego "audio dramas" on cassette tape in German, produced in 1996: a "Testflug TC13," followed by "Operation Cybercom" and a third and final installment, "SOS Aus Der Vergangenheit" (meaning 'S-O-S from the Past').

Secondly, a "Time Cruisers" board game came out in 1997—another novel concept (for me) and something I'm curious to see in real life one day. On top of all typical board game elements, "Time Cruisers" had five Lego minifigures moving on the board, all with lots of accessories. It even had an exclusive "Time Twister" figure, a skeleton dressed in a leather jacket and black top hat.

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"Time Twisters" is the theme's second faction, with three sets presented in 1997. The villains appear to have their own time travel technology, or, at least, a significant variation of Dr. Cyber's method. Time Twisters still rely on a Spinner Wheel (in black-and-blue print) but don't require any artifacts or headwear from different "time zones" to navigate their time machines. Instead, ghosts and skeletons operate Time Twisters vessels, driven by dark magic or some sort of evil wizardry.

Whereas "Time Cruisers" appeared charmingly sloppy and eccentric (with their "mad scientist" vessels, bright non-compatible ricks slapped together without much regard for symmetry, class, or even common sense), "Time Twisters" are much more organized and unified. Time bandits must've had some military or industrial backgrounds, so their vehicles are symmetric, more logical, structured.

Time Twisters style is sinister and gothic, finished mostly in black, blue, and brown (with transparent dark blue canopies). For this collection, Lego designers borrowed quite a few decoration elements from "Fright Knights," the latest subtheme within "Castle" that also came out in 1997. (It was another spooky series, featuring witches and bat lords; in a way, a sequel to the 1993-'95 "Dragon Masters" subtheme.)

This set no. 6497 'Twisted Time Train' was the largest of three "Time Twisters" models and the second-largest in the overall collection, clocking at 300 parts and four minifigs.

The train chassis borrows some elements from the Time Cruisers' set no. 6492 'Hypno Cruiser,' which came out in 1996; most prominently, a double cockpit with identical canopies on each side of the cabin, plus similar Technic wheels, axles, gears, and rubber belts in the powertrain.

The train has a locomotive and two wagons, both mounted on the same chassis. The locomotive's chimney moves up and down as the front axle rotates, and there are a few other moving parts. Apart from three Time Twisters described below, the set also included a standard Ghost minifigure in the 'glow-in-the-dark' shroud.

=TIME TWISTERS CREW=

>> Baron Blomberg (a.k.a. "Tony Twister" in the USA)
The main antihero; came in all three sets. Blomberg sports a badass leather jacket and, as per "Twisters" uniform, yellow epaulets, and black police-style cap.

>>Commodore Schmidt, or "Professor Millennium."
Supposedly, Baron Blomberg's twin brother (whichever way it might work, given their different last names). Apart from "Twisters" uniform attire, Schmidt dresses as a Knight from the Castle's "Fright Knights" theme. Thus, according to some Lego conspiracy theories, he's actually a "time refugee" of sorts, living outside of medieval times with a new partner in "time crime," evil Baron Blomberg. What a crazily twisted plot!

>>Boney, a wizard skeleton.
Featured only in the 'Twisted Time Train' set, Boney wears an oversized bright blue Magic Hat, and occasionally a black scarf. According to the UK catalog, he performs "daring acts" and reports directly to Blomberg.

Boney also appeared on the highly sought-after LEGO Builder's Club 1997 collector cards. The other five characters were Big Chief Rattlesnake and Sheriff Duke (representing 'Cowboys' and 'Indians' of the "Western" theme), Diver Dan from the Town's "Divers" subtheme, a "Fright Knights" witch named Hubble Bubble, and finally an X-Commander from Space's "UFO" series. This set of cards must be incredibly rare, as there aren't even any decent high-res pictures available online, let alone any lots or items available for sale!

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=SEE ALSO=

6492-1: Hypno Cruiser
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/8xaDrgdDjB7

6494-1: Magic Mountain Time Lab, a.k.a. "The Flybo"
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/zOjoVbNk26Z
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